Scientific Seen

News, Commentary, and Tutorials from a Scientific Perspective

Architects like solid-state lighting, but they’ve been burned by extravagant performance claims. DOE’s Next Generation Luminaire™ program eases the problem.
Patricia Glasow is one of the principals in the architectural lighting design firm Auerbach Glasow French. She’s designed and managed lighting projects throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Glasow spoke at Strategies in Light (SIL), an annual conference on the status of and prospects for the solid-state lighting industry, held in Santa Clara, California, from February 22 to 24, 2011. In the last few years Glasow has noticed a trend: architects on every project are asking for solid-state lighting.

And why shouldn’t they? Solid-state lighting is ten times more efficient than incandescent lighting and light-emitting diodes can last 50,000 hours. So what’s the problem? Scott Riesebosch, president of CRS Electronics, an LED lighting manufacturer, said the problem with LEDs is neither the technology nor the cost. He taught a session on designing LED fixtures, also at the SIL conference. “The real problem,” he said, “is extravagant marketing claims.”

An Interplay of Systems
The problem has been a growing concern for the industry. LED lighting is based on LED semiconductor chips themselves, mounted on a carrier that defines a mechanical, electrical, and thermal interface…

Read More
Originally published at Suite 101, 5 MAR 2011


R&D in solid-state lighting (SSL) reduces future energy demands. The Department of Energy, in collaboration with industry, guides the development of SSL.
Solid state lighting (SSL) is the heir apparent to the general lighting crown. More energy efficient than its incandescent and fluorescent predecessors, SSL can take a huge bite out of the more than 765 Terawatt-hours (765 million-million Watt-hours) the United States burns each year on industrial, commercial, outdoor, and residential lighting.

Although fundamental physics makes SSL the most energy efficient lighting choice, scientific and engineering challenges limit its adoption. That’s why the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) organizes an annual conference focussed on setting research and development (R&D) priorities for maturing SSL technology.

Read More
Originally published at Suite101, 9 FEB 2011


For six years, Intertech Corp. of Portland, Maine, has sponsored a conference for representatives from all levels of the LED industry supply chain. This year’s event, held in October in San Diego, showcased a rapidly maturing industry facing challenges on several levels: technological barriers to overcome, profit margins with which to struggle and standardization issues to address.

LEDs are finding a place in giant billboard displays and mobile handset backlighting, but incursions into the general lighting market have barely begun. The potential market for solid-state general illumination is huge — billions or even tens of billions of dollars per year. The energy efficiency and reliability of solid-state emitters are advantages for general lighting, but ways must be found to enable these devices to best work with the existing infrastructure if they are to be adopted for this application.

Read More
Originally published in Photonics Spectra, DEC 2005.